The Tabarchino Translations

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The Tabarchino Translations is a novel by Argentais author Janusz Vacheron first published in 1969.

As the Seven Years War rages across the globe, two officers from opposing armies meet by chance in Carloforte, Sardinia, where they're mutually bewitched by a book they find. It recounts the story of Seturninu Antronixo, a Rumanhese captain, trying to reach Lisbon via passage on a Royal Navy vessel. En route, he is marooned on San Pietro island where a sly hermit recounts the story of Saramago - a magician who could move islands. Seturninu collects these stories in the local dialect and sets them down before being rescued and abandoning the work.

Saramago's story is in fact a collection of tales regarding his encounters with characters primarily in Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, wherein is set a frame story containing baroque, picaresque and erotic elements. Chief among these, in a deserted house during the Wars of Spanish Succession, Saramago tells of a spy who appears to be the captain's grandfather who travelled in the region many years before. He was plagued by evil spirits, and met such figures as a Sufi wiseman, the first Bey of Tunis and a pirate, who tell him further stories, many of which intertwine and interrelate with one another and all point to a mysterious yet shifting island on which Saramago keeps his many talismans.